Up for sale, a 1968 Francisco Barba flamenco guitar in excellent condition, complete with the original hardshell case. Barba is widely considered one of the finest flamenco luthiers of his era, if not all time, and his instruments have been played by flamenco masters including Rafael Riqueni, Antonio Rey and Diego del Morao, among many others. Based in Seville since 1958, Barba only uses the finest tonewoods to craft his exceptionally well-balanced, resonant instruments.
This Barba features a straight-grained German spruce top with cypress back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped by an ebony fingerboard. Featuring a French polish finish, this guitar is notably resonant, with a textured, harmonically complex quality, and a dry, percussive cut. The trebles are articulate and singing, while the wound strings are focused and clear, with a breadth befitting an instrument of this vintage. The lively, dynamic response of this Barba is perfect for blistering rasgueados and snappy picados. Featherweight at 2lbs 12oz, this Barba has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with normal tension D’Addario strings and optimal action.
The mahogany neck has a full-feeling, D-shaped profile carve with generous, inviting shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .850” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 9th. The thick slab ebony fingerboard has flawless slender fretwire. This Barba plays cleanly up the straight neck, with action measuring 8/64” at the 12th fret on the bass side and 6/64” on the treble side. The scale length is 658mm, and the hand-carved bone nut measures 52mm in width, with scalloping between the strings. The headstock has a Brazilian rosewood veneer, and, the original set of ebony friction tuning pegs, crafted in the traditional style, function as they should, with dot inlay on the top and bottom of each.
On the body, the Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all edges, with plenty of saddle height for future adjustment. String spacing at the bridge is 57mm, the lower bout body width is 14 1/2”, and the body depth is 3 7/16”. The body is framed by multi-ply purfling, and the soundhole has an ornate multi-ring rosette. The original label is visible through the soundhole, dating the instrument to 1968, with the appropriate stamps on the label and on the extension of the neck heel block.
This instrument is well-kept and crack-free, and cosmetic wear includes localized wear across the strum path, with notably pristine areas where two pickguards were previously affixed and cleanly removed. There are additionally just a handful of microscopic dings and faint scratches on the body as a whole, largely concentrated on the lower bout of the back. The gloss finish on the neck profile has a worn-in, easy-playing feel, with a few tiny, shallow marks on the treble-side shoulder at frets 7-8 and one behind fret 4 that have no impact on playability.
A hardshell case with red plush interior and built-in hygrometer is included.